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Messages - sts70nl

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IR Pens / Re: tip-push IR-pen
« on: June 30, 2008, 11:53:23 PM »
Thanks for the video. It looks quite a job but the end result is awesome!
I have to say that the video does not reveal all the details of your activities.
I made my first prototype tip-push IR-pen myself but took quite a different approach.
For the IR-LED I used a LED spacer, drilled small holes at each side so that the LED leads come out at each side.
Finally I glued the spacer on a microswitch. All this I built in a blue Conrad USB-rechargeable LED-pocketlight.
(search for 'USB LED' on, it can easily be modified)
Working with a tip-push is really great compared to my push-button version using the same LED-pocketlight.

If you need details on specific steps, let me know and I'll provide them in prose.

The most time consuming was to find a suitable pen (took me 5 shops and only stumbled on it by accident).  While reverse engineering the pen, the design was made.  Even the tip opening turned out to be exactly right for a 5mm IR-LED (the only one I had).  And fortunately due to the actual design of the pen, most of the work is simple (except the soldering part).  Then it was a matter of finding a flat tip screw and a ring (trip to the hardware store for I couldn't find any good at home).

The most difficult part was the soldering. Attaching the wire to the minus lead was difficult.  Initially trying to solder the other end of the wire directly on the stainless ring turned out to be impossible (with my first pen I tried for about half an hour before giving up).  A piece of folded tin foil with solder and the wire in it and then soldering it went pretty well (still took me 3 tries and about 10 minutes).

The most important part is the switch itself.  And this is done by the positive of the IR-LED that makes connection with a flat tip screw. Distancing the IR-LED positive from the screw when not pressed is done by a spring (just like in a ball-point).  Even most ball-point springs nicely fit over both the 5 mm IR-LED leads while fitting snugly against the back of the IR-LED.

The battery holder consists out of a part of the marker. The positive makes direct contact with the screw head.  The negative by means of a wire soldered on some folded tin foil.  This end is kept in place with a ring, part of the big spring and the end with a bit cut off.  The casing of the plastic holder, the big spring and the end are part of the original marker.

So the end conclusion is that most of the work was done by the Edding company by designing and producing such an elaborate marker.


I like the push tip pen.  I have made a couple but none work flawlessly.  I can't seem to get the spring part just right and I end up having to push really hard, which turns out to be even less natural than the push-button type pen.  Also, do you just use a spring and then have one of the positive leads touch the positive terminal of the battery when pressed?  I would love to see how you put yours together when you have time to make another one.

The how to do it can be found at:


IR Pens / tip-push IR-pen
« on: June 30, 2008, 02:01:52 PM »
As promised a guide on how to build a tip-push IR-pen.  The key component is an Edding Retract 11 Permanent Marker.

The beauty of the Edding Retract 11 Permanent Marker comes from being well over engineered.  Amazing how much effort went into designing and producing this marker.  However, for building a IR-pen it is great for it comes already with its own battery holder.

The complete materials list:

- 1x Edding Retract 11 Permanent Marker (for Dutch: found at Primera @ Ä2,70)
- 1x Metal ring 4 mm diameter
- 1x Screw with flat head (5mm 20mm)
- 1x IR-LED (5mm, 940 nm)
- 1x ball point spring
- A bit of tin foil
- 1 piece of wire (8-9 cm, thin; I used one of the four inner wires of a phone wire)
- Small bit of sticky tape (for insulation purpose on the IR-LED)

A soldering set is required, although soldering is limited to two joints (which Iím more than happy about for Iím not that good at it).

Most difficult thing I found, besides the soldering, was to remove a spring near the tip.  This took me a couple of minutes.

Initially I was a bit worried about getting the tip-push good enough. However, in hindsight, due to the design I came up with, the error margin in building/constructing is pretty big.  This was additionally proven when I built tip-push IR-pen number two and recorded mean while my actions and steps (see the YouTube video).

What you get, is an easy to fine-tune tip-push IR-pen with an internal battery holder. The IR-pen does have the look and feel of a white board marker.

[youtube] [/youtube]


Using the instructions available I made my push-button IR-pen.  As a push-button a small keyboard button was used.  Very nice, however there was a need to constantly remember when to push and most importantly when not to push the button.  It works great, but not a real white board experience.

Like some others the idea came up to build an IR-pen that when pushed against the white board for writing will turn on the IR and will turn the IR off when the pressure is released. 


Hopefully soon I will have the time to build and record the building of the push-tip IR-pen.


Wiimote Smoothboard / Re: Wiimote Smooth Board 0.1 BETA
« on: June 28, 2008, 07:13:46 AM »
2 tumbs up Boon Jin

I did a quick test on the screen of my PC.  Works like a charm so far and the ALT-TAB function, which is for me a very nice functionality works great.

User interface is very workable and easy to use.

What I particularly like is having an idea what the Wiimote sees for optimizing the tracking area. It would be equally interesting, if possible, to have an indicator of how much sensitivity the Wiimote has to help selecting a good sensitivity level.

Coming Tuesday I have a good possibility to field test it.  I think I will put some post-its around the projected area with ALT, TAB, and enter on it.  I'm looking forward to it, the more since I built myself an IR pen that has the switch in the tip (press the pen on the board = IR led is on, remove the pressure on the board = IR led is off).

Again, great work Boon Jin!!!


Have a rule of thumb to quickly setup the Wiimote for use with a beamer and whiteboard.

Consistent and very optimal tracking on a white board

The more angles, the more skewed and the less optimal the tracking

- no beamer (haven't got one to play around with)
- real whiteboard
- Wiimote
- Boonjin's 0.2.2 beta
- Living room (daylight)

The Wiimote has a 90 degree angle on the whiteboard, however it is slightly angled upward (see picture attached).

- Start the calibration procedure
- Trial & error to find the maximum view of the Wiimote camera
- Repeat until the maximum area is found

     d   WT   WB   HL   HRresolution    W:H
104cm      78cm      77cm      53cm     47cm       114%  3.1:2
  50cm 36cm34cm 25cm 25cm  120%  2.8:2

  • - width / height ratio of the Wiimote is 3:2
  • - distance and height seem to have an easy ratio

The distance of the Wiimote to the whiteboard follows: d = 2*H
Where (d) is the distance Wiimote to whiteboard, and (H) = projected height

It would be very nice to get additional measurements as well to get a good rule of thumb.  For instance, I couldn't use a beamer (was not required for I was looking for the maximum area) and my whiteboard isn't one of the largest so I could take only two measurements.

Stefan van Aalst

Wiimote Smoothboard / Re: Smoothing for Wiimote Whiteboard 0.2.2 beta
« on: June 26, 2008, 12:58:14 AM »

Hi Stefan,
Thanks for the invaluable feedback!
I have already successfully implemented the customizable toggles which triggers when the user 'click's outside the screen area.
The current options are,
  • Mouse Click - Right Click , Double Click
  • Keyboard Presses - 3 key combinations (e.g. ALT+TAB and CTRL+C)
  • Launching Files/Applications - any files can be launched (movie files,JPEG, EXE, batch files, custom made applications)

I have just tested the application with the ALT+TAB and it works. However, currently I have not added a hold feature. I will try to do this feature, as my current priority is the ease of use. :)

The user interface now is abit messy and have some bugs. This is due to the complexity of the user settings required. Once I am satisfied with this, I will release it for testing.

Can you make the Wiimote Keys programable too?

Benpaddlejones :-)
Since the application already supports programmable settings, I think it won't be difficult to add this feature. I might add this in the next version.

Thanks for all your suggestions!

Boon Jin

Boon Jin,

Unlike you, I'm a Sunday programmer.  Last night I managed to get working the functionality I had in my mind in Excel using VBA.

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
    'triggering ALT-SHIFT-TAB and keep ALT pressed

    keybd_event &H12, 0, 0, 0
    keybd_event 16, 1, 0, 0
    keybd_event &H9, 1, 0, 0
    'Strangly SHIFT must be released seperately otherwise it continues to be pressed
    keybd_event 16, 0, 2, 0
End Sub

Private Sub CommandButton3_Click()
    'triggering ALT-TAB and keep ALT pressed
    keybd_event &H12, 0, 0, 0
    keybd_event &H9, 1, 0, 0
End Sub

Private Sub CommandButton4_Click()
    'release of the TAB
    keybd_event &H12, 0, &H2, 0
End Sub

It does what it needs to be done; ALT-TAB'ing where ever you want and if you go a bit too far, because the release of ALT is a separate button ALT-SHIFT-TAB can be used as well. Although I find it a bit slow.

Stefan van Aalst

Wiimote Smoothboard / Re: Smoothing for Wiimote Whiteboard 0.2.2 beta
« on: June 25, 2008, 01:09:24 PM »
0.2.2 BETA works like a charm on:
- vista business
- OneNote 2007
- Powerpoint 2007
- Hand writing recognition

The right click function is very useful and easy to use.

On a regular basis I give presentations and workshops.  There is a need to switch from Powerpoint to some other program and back.  This must be done through ALT-TAB.

2-clickable areas. Mouse click on one area (preferably in the same form as right click) toggles ALT-TAB (with alt continued to be pressed), clicking more on this are triggers an TAB.  Clicking on the other area releases the TAB.
3-clickable ares. Same as above, but with the 3th area providing SHIFT-TAB.

To make it really nice. A check mark will turn the ALT into Windows-key.

Kind regards

Stefan van Aalst

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